For those who have been paying attention, this information may seem rather repetitive.

But for those who haven’t been following along and are planning to attend the Yankton Bucks’ football home opener Friday night against Dakota Valley, please pay close attention.

The Yankton School District has enacted guidelines for its home athletic contests this fall. The purpose is to let the events go on and to allow spectators to, as safely as possible, observe the proceedings. That is very reasonable, given current circumstances.

The rules vary somewhat for sports such as cross country and golf, which are spread out and easy to manage, and more compressed activities — for instance, varsity football.

Because Yankton has long been seen as a “football town,” Friday’s home game will attract a lot of interest, as most Bucks’ games do.

But this time, it’s not enough for an adult to simply walk up to the gate and purchase a ticket. In fact, that alone won’t get you in.

Earlier this summer, the Yankton School Board approved a plan to control spectator attendance at some sporting events. For varsity football, the plan (which mirrors what’s being done at several other large schools in the state) calls for each player, coach and team manager to be allotted six vouchers that can be distributed to anyone. (The same system will also apply to fans of visiting teams.) The voucher does not get an adult into a game; rather, it entitles them to purchase a ticket to get into a game.

So, if you don’t have a voucher, you cannot attend the game.

This policy has been well publicized, but even so, we’ve encountered a couple of reports already this young fall season of people showing up at YHS soccer matches, for example, and finding out about this entry rule.

Friday’s football home opener will likely be the biggest test yet.

If you don’t have a voucher and cannot attend, the school district is streaming the game online for free. No, it WON’T be the same as being in the stands, but that’s the rules of the road during the current pandemic, at least as far as schools like Yankton are concerned.

We offer this today as a reminder to minimize any surprise some fans may feel when they try to attend Friday’s game. You can still enjoy Bucks football (and all the other Yankton teams and athletes) this season, but be aware of the safety guidelines in place. It will help you avoid some bumps along the way.


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